Alevtina Naumova of the Soviet Union, unaware that her closest challenger was only seconds behind, held on to win the Revco Cleveland Marathon on Sunday in a record time of 2 hours, 35 minutes and 32 seconds.
The men's marathon nearly saw a record, as Paul Kipkoech of Kenya missed by three seconds, running a 2:14:26.The men's 10-kilometer event was marred by the death of a suburban Cleveland man who collapsed about two-thirds of the way through. Cuyahoga County Coroner Elizabeth Balraj identified him as Brian McNitt, 26, of Shaker Heights.
Naumova said she had no idea Alena Peterkova of Czechoslovakia was only six seconds back at the finish line.
Naumova took the lead from Peterkova near the halfway mark and opened a large lead before Peterkova closed the gap in the final mile.
Peterkova said she should have made a move on the leader sooner.
"I thought I had more time," Peterkova said. "I was confused about how far away the finish line was."
Naumova beat the 1989 race record of Irena Bogacheva by 23 seconds.
The record performance gave Naumova a $10,000 bonus on top of the $15,000 first prize. Peterkova received $10,000 for finishing second.